Rolex has surprised watch enthusiasts with its newest watch collection, Perpetual 1908, which is undoubtedly the brand’s best dressy watch in years. In this article, we’ll inspect the Perpetual 1908 and why it’s worth your attention.
What is Perpetual 1908?
The Perpetual 1908 is a collection of four new watches in 18-karat yellow or white gold cases, each paired with a black or white dial. The collection represents Rolex’s new Perpetual line, which replaces the Cellini line, a series that has been neglected for the last few years. The Perpetual 1908 is the dressy alternative to Rolex’s professional models, and if the first watch is anything to go by, we might be in for a whole new side of Rolex.
The dial of the Perpetual 1908 is the first thing that catches your attention. The white dial is an “intense white,” while the black dial is a matte black, a subtle surprise for a dress watch. A dress watch should be slim, sleek, and elegant, and the matte black dial is not attention-grabbing. Meanwhile, the white dial has a slight graining effect that gives it just a bit of texture. After wearing both for about an equal amount of time, the black dial paired with yellow gold is the favorite of the bunch.
The Perpetual 1908 comes in a 39mm case that looks like the old Cellini case but has been updated with a sapphire caseback. The bezel is half domed and half fluted, and the case is polished, giving it a dressed-up but not audacious look. The watch is thin, and while there’s no official measurement from Rolex, it has a slim profile on the wrist. The lug-to-lug is noticeably smaller than other 39mm watches, making it a perfect size for a dress watch.
The dial of the 1908 is based on a vintage Rolex model from 1931, and it shows in a wonderfully updated way. The observatory-style hour hand and 12-3-9 in a sans-serif font that’s as Art Deco as it is modern, perfectly complemented by a more ornate font in the subdial at 6 o’clock. The name 1908 is a reference to the year when Hans Wilsdorf trademarked the term Rolex.
Rolex has launched its Perpetual 1908 collection, which includes four watches in yellow or white gold cases with black or white dials. The collection replaces the Cellini line and represents the dressy alternative to Rolex’s professional models. The Perpetual 1908 immediately grabs your attention with its dial and has a polished case that is noticeably smaller than other 39mm watches, making it a perfect size for a dress watch. The dial is based on a vintage Rolex model from 1931, giving it a timeless appeal. The Perpetual 1908 is a dress watch that is worth your attention, and if it’s anything to go by, we might be in for a whole new side of Rolex.
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The movement powering the Perpetual 1908 is the new caliber 3235. We’ve seen this movement before in the Day-Date 40, but this is the first time it’s been put in a smaller, dressier watch. It’s a little strange to talk about an eight-year-old movement as “new,” but the caliber 3235 represents the latest in Rolex’s mechanical watchmaking technology. It has a 70-hour power reserve, a Chronergy escapement, and Paraflex shock absorbers. It’s also chronometer-certified by the COSC and then cased up by Rolex and tested again to ensure accuracy within -2/+2 seconds per day. And now you can see it all in action, thanks to that sapphire caseback I mentioned earlier. Honestly, I don’t really care about seeing a movement through a caseback, but for those of you who do, here it is.
Rolex perpetual 1908 collection movement
So, what do we make of the Perpetual 1908? It’s an impressive watch, without question. It looks great, it feels great, and it has a very strong movement inside. I think it’s exactly the kind of watch Rolex should make right now. The world doesn’t need another massive steel sports to watch from Rolex – at least, not right now – but it does need more dress watches that aren’t marketed to the high-complication crowd. The Perpetual 1908 is approachable, elegant, and mechanically advanced all at the same time. And, while I haven’t seen pricing yet, I think there’s a good chance that it will represent a solid value in Rolex’s overall lineup. If you’re in the market for a gold dress watch, you owe it to yourself to give this one a closer look.